Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) Awards Second Round of Grants

Rhode Island schools, organizations, community centers, and artists were awarded $827,782 in the April 2019 round of grants from RISCA. The Arts Council’s board approved the awarding of these grants at its June meeting in Providence. These grants will go to support arts in education, community-based projects by organizations and individual artist fellowships and projects for this fiscal year. Statewide, 146 grants were awarded in response to applications received at RISCA’s April 1 deadline.

Governor Gina Raimondo applauded the recipients of these grants, saying, “I’m thrilled to support these grants awarded by the State Arts Council. The arts are a significant part of our economy—they represent jobs for artists and non-artists alike, and are part of the reason why Rhode Island is a destination for cultural tourism. The State’s investment in the arts contributes to the quality of life we enjoy and the education of all Rhode Islanders. I’m proud to live in a state that values the arts in our everyday lives.”

“We’re particularly pleased with this round of grant awards,” said Randall Rosenbaum, Executive Director of the RISCA. “Programs in arts education and projects that support the work of artists in communities throughout our state contribute to our great quality of life here in Rhode Island.”

RISCA funds are matched by businesses, individuals, and earned income. The Council receives its support through an annual appropriation from the Rhode Island General Assembly and from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

Examples of projects supported in the current round of grants include: The PACE Org of RI in Woonsocket received $2,500 to complete a mural project with Riverzedge Arts to be painted on a concrete wall that is visible from the day center windows of PACE’s northern Rhode Island location. This project includes planning sessions where the youth of Riverzedge Arts and the elders at PACE work together to create a design that would later be painted.

School One in Providence received $3,000 to offer an Intergenerational Arts Program. The program brings together high school students and adults aged 65 and over to explore their creativity, learn theater skills, develop their powers of expression, and forge relationships across the generations. Unique to RI, the Intergenerational Arts Program uses theater to foster authentic collaboration and learning.

In partnership with Central Falls School District’s “Expanded Learning Communities,” artist Benjamin Lundberg Torres Sánchez from Providence received $1,880 to offer summer-long Media Literacy & Media Production workshops to high school or middle school aged young people that will resource them with grounding in media analysis & provide practical skill-building in production using readily available tools such as the students’ phones.

Artist Alfonso Acevedo from Central Falls received $2,500 to continue his Millennium Art Factory Central Falls project, working with youth ages 6-20 providing free art workshop for students of all levels of experience to hone their art skills. The work the participants create is then exhibited around Central Falls and Pawtucket in local businesses and government buildings.

Artist Mishki Fern Thompson, Narragansett, from Charlestown will lead 10 free beading workshops around Washington County, RI. These workshops will introduce the public to Native American culture and Native traditions of beading arts, as well as how to create their own pieces of art. Half of the workshops are for youth ages 10-15, and half are for teens and adults ages 16 and up.

Oasis International in Providence received $2,250 in support of their 26th African Summer Bash. The Bash celebrates the cultural richness of African and other diverse ethnic groups in Southwest Providence – including the Cape Verdean community – through music, dance, food, and the arts. The Bash is a free, all-day festival with games and live entertainment for all ages.

The Autism Project in Johnston received $3,000 in support of “In Harmony”, a program in partnership with the Rhode Island Philharmonic Music School that provides music and social skills education to children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. The program includes a school year of weekly music education for 15-20 youth, ending with a public performance; and summer camp for 115 campers with music activities.

For a complete list of grant recipients go to https://risca.online/grants/grant-recipients-fy20-spring-cycle/

GCRI Members Partner on Arts Advocacy Workshop

In the arts community, there are many overlapping policy issues — from the need for affordable housing, investment in arts and afterschool programming as well as the need for financial literacy to create a more stable existence for many artists and those they serve.

United Way of Rhode Island worked with Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, and the City of Providence to train over 40 artists and arts supporters at “Arts Trifecta: Advocacy 101.”

United Way is planning on a continued partnership with the arts and culture funders around advocacy training and intersectional social issues.

HarborOne Announces $75,000 in Grants

HarborOne Foundation recently announced $75,000 in grants to organizations in Rhode Island.

Said James Blake, CEO of HarborOne, “The work of these nonprofit organizations contributes greatly to the vibrancy and health of the local community. Investing in organizations that create educational opportunity, improve access to affordable housing and provide basic needs to our most vulnerable citizens aligns with the bank’s core values of service, community and trust.”

For more information, read interview in Providence Business News.

Centreville Bank Awards $180,000 in Grants

GCRI member Centreville Bank Charitable Foundation has awarded $181,900 in grants to eight Rhode Island organizations with missions ranging from social services to education to environmental protection.

Recipients included Child & Family Services in Middletown for the Bridges to Success Independent LIving Program; Friends Way for bereavement support and operational support; Comprehensive Community Action Program in Cranston to replace and enhance digital technology at three youth/skill centers; Sojourner House for rapid rehousing of victims of sexual abuse, assault and trafficking; San Miguel School for scholarships; ONE Neighborhood Builders for homeownership promotion and financial education; and Save the Bay for out of school programming.

Resources for Educational Equity

Thanks to those of you who were able to attend this morning’s session on Education Disparities.  It was a compelling conversation about equity in both education and philanthropy. 

If you would like to listen to the audio of the session, please contact Nancy at Nancy.wolanski@uwri.org. Panelists were Marcela Betancur, Latino Policy Institute; Elizabeth Burke Bryant, RI Kids Count; Karla Vigil, EduLeaders of Color; Nick Donahue, Nellie Mae Education Foundation.

  • If you would like a copy of the Latino Policy Institute report on education disparities, as well as some policies recommended by the Schott Foundation and the National Education Policy Center for ensuring that all children have the opportunity to learn, regardless of their background or which school they attend, or Nellie Mae Education Foundation’s new principles centering their work around racial equity, please contact Nancy at Nancy.wolanski@uwri.org.
  • The Schott Foundation in Boston, which has done a lot of work around racial equity in education, is offering a webinar this Thursday, April 11 at 2:00pm if you’d like to learn more about Culturally Responsive CurriculaLearn more
  • Some of the handouts Nick shared are:

Paid in Full by Dorian O. Burton and Brian C.B. Barnes

The Road to Achieving Equity by Kris Putnam-Walkerly and Elizabeth Russell

Paying Attention to White Culture and Privilege by Gita Gulati-Partee

Where White Privilege Came From by Allan G. Johnson

  • Look for more information soon about our May GCRI session on Collective Impact.  We will be working with the Federal Reserve and Working Cities Challenge on an engaging session about developing deeper partnerships and co-creating with community partners.

Rhode Island Taking Steps to Address Early Literacy Challenges

As of 2017, less than half of Rhode Island third graders were proficient in reading, and the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Race for Results
report, released last October showed even more literacy challenges for Latino/a students in the state.  According to the Race for Results’ “Opportunity Index,” which includes reading proficiency, Rhode Island’s Latino/a children are doing the worst in the nation.

In the face of these statistics, two GCRI funders, the van Beuren Charitable Foundation and United Way of Rhode Island, have stepped forward to support and lead the work toward grade level reading proficiency.

The national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading recognized Newport, RI as one of 29 “Pacesetter” communities in the country, highlighting the city’s  progress on key indicators of early school success.

Newport’s work on early literacy is highlighted by cross-sector collaboration, including the city, school districts, nonprofit agencies, private organizations and state agencies, including an extensive partnership with the Rhode Island Department of Health.  The work has been supported by GCRI member van Beuren Charitable Foundation, among other funding streams.

The Newport program provides resources beginning at birth, with letters to new parents with suggestions on how to build early language development by reading, talking, singing and playing; bags containing books and resource guides with information on programs to support early development and literacy; and links to parent support and educational programs, and home visiting programs.

Rhode Island Reads, a statewide collaboration led by United Way of Rhode Island and Rhode Island KIDS COUNT, teamed up with the Rhode Island Association for the Education of Young Children to build awareness of the need for high-quality early learning opportunities for young children by organizing reading events in early learning programs across the state. Thirty-six guest readers participated —  26 state legislators and 10 community leaders, including the Director of the Department of Human Services, the Director of the Department of Labor and Training, and members of United Way of Rhode Island’s Women United Leadership Group.  Photos

Rhode Island Reads has also released its 2018 Advocacy Agenda, focusing on legislation and funding in the areas of school readiness, summer learning, chronic absence and learning to read.

 

Collette, Rhode Island Foundation Help Launch Books Are Wings Literacy Program in Central Falls

Collette, Rhode Island Foundation Support Launch of Books Are Wings’ Literacy Efforts in Central Falls

Thanks to funding from two GCRI members, Collette and Rhode Island Foundation, Books Are Wings will partner with the City of Central Falls to provide literacy training for the City’s Parks & Recreation summer camp counselors, three book parties throughout the summer, establish six Little Free Libraries in strategic locations throughout Central Falls and distribute over 5,000 free children’s books to Central Falls students throughout the year.

The Little Free Libraries are available to both children and their families anytime, and invite participants to keep books for their personal use. Grant funds will also support the purchase of bilingual books to be included in the book selection.

Books Are Wings will visit Central Falls elementary schools multiple times throughout the school year to distribute free books. By the end of the school year every child will receive up to 6 free books to keep.

According to the 2017 PARCC, only 15% of third graders in Central Falls are meeting grade-level expectations in reading. This is a 2% gain from the previous two years. “The summer months are critical academic times for children. Children’s access to and ownership of books is crucial to maintain the reading skills they acquired during the school year,” states Jocelynn White, Executive Director of Books Are Wings. “We are thrilled to partner with the City of Central Falls to address this need and get more books in the hands of children.”

“The city is excited to partner with Books Are Wings,” says Rob Sayre-McCord, Director of Parks & Recreation and Community Services. “Together, the city and Books Are Wings firmly believe that this initiative will highlight the life-long importance of reading for youth in our community and will be a step towards offsetting the literacy issues our community encounters.”

GCRI Members Invited to Visit Hasbro Summer Learning Initiative Sites

GCRI members United Way and Hasbro invite GCRI members to visit to one of 14 summer learning programs of the 2018 Hasbro Summer Learning Initiative (HSLI).   Each program offers youth a fun six-week, service learning-oriented, experiential curriculum that is designed and delivered by a collaboration of school-day and community-based educators. No two programs are the same, but all of them work towards a common goal: to narrow the achievement gap—a phenomenon that research shows is significantly attributed to unequal access to summer learning.

More than 1,100 Rhode Island youth will benefit from the initiative this summer,  and site visits offer guests the opportunity to witness the progress being made to combat summer learning loss. Visits last one hour.

The following visits are available:

Central Falls — August 9, 2:00-3:00pm, Calcutt Middle School

Cumberland — July 31, 9:00-10:00am, Joseph L. McCourt Middle School

Newport — July 24, 9:00-10:00am, Boys & Girls Club of Newport

North Kingstown — August 1, 11:00am-noon, McGinn Park

North Providence — July 12, 11:00-noon, Greystone School

Pawtucket — July 12, 9:00-10:00am, Boys & Girls Club of Pawtucket

Providence — July 30, 11:00am-noon, Blackstone Valley Academy at Moses Brown School

Providence — August 15, 11:00am-noon, YWCA Rhode Island

West Warwick — August 8, 1:00-2:00pm, Deering Middle School

Westerly — August 7, 9:00-10:00am, Tower Street School Community Center

Woonsocket — July 31, 2:00-3:00pm, C3 Center

Woonsocket — August 8, 9:00-10:00am, Kevin K. Coleman Elementary School

If you are interested in participating in one of the site visits or would like more information, please email hilary.ho@uwri.org or joseph.morra@uwri.org.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of RI, LISC, Rhode Island Foundation Release 2017 Community Reports

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island has released it 2017 Community Report, focused on its wide range of involvement in child health and wellbeing, healthcare access and equity, the opioid crisis, and volunteerism and philanthropy.

Full report

LISC RI, a GCRI member, is part of national LISC, which  invested $1.2 billion nationwide in 2017, including $27 million in Rhode Island.  One of the featured stories in the report is the work of the Health Empowerment Zone in Pawtucket/Central Falls, which is adminstered by LISC RI.

Full report

The Rhode Island Foundation’s annual report details information on the $43 million in grants to more than 1,700 the Foundation awarded in 2017, including grants in strategic areas such as economic security, educational success, and healthy lives.

Full report

RI Council for the Humanities Hosts NEA, NEH Leaders for Cultural Conversation; Announces Grants

GCRI Member RI Council for the Humanities hosted A Cultural Conversation with Jane Chu of the National Endowment for the Arts and Karen Kenton of the National Endowment for the the Humanities, as well as all of Rhode Island’s Congressional delegation.  Over 300 community members attended the session, which took place at Trinity Repertory Theater.

RICH also announced a total of $136,429 in new grants to 14 humanities initiatives across the state.  The announcement ceremony, attended by over 50 representatives from civic and cultural organizations, recognized Rhode Island’s strong humanities community and the role the humanities play in civic and community engagement.

Grantees included New Urban Arts, Manton Avenue Project, newportFILM, RISD Museum, South County History Center, Rhode Island Latino Arts, Little Compton Historical Society, Providence Preservation Society and Stages of Freedom for the Public Project category.  In the Documentary film category, grants were awarded to Center for Independent Documentary, Rhode Island PBS and the Rhode Island Historical Society, while Meeting Street and Pushed Learning and Media/New Urban Arts received grants in the K-12 Civic Education category.

More information